What if the Killer Was Us?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Esther 1-2; Acts 5:1-21

21 At that time, as Mordecai continued to work at the King’s Gate, two royal eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, became angry with King Ahasuerus. They were among the guards protecting the doorway to the king, but they secretly planned to kill him. 22 When Mordecai got wind of it, he reported it to Queen Esther. She spoke to the king about it, saying the information came from Mordecai. 23 The matter was investigated and found to be true, so the two men were impaled on pointed poles. A report about the event was written in the royal record with the king present. (Esther 2:21-23, Common English Bible).

Over the past month, I have said a great deal here, relatively, about the tragedy at Santa Fe High School. My heart is still heavy due to what happened there. Having been a pastor in that community, having baptized one of the victims and playing a part in his memorial service it hit very close to home. It was so tragic and so needless. I hope, I pray, that the young man responsible will one day come to repent of his senseless actions.

It is to bad that there was not a Mordecai present. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming anyone, or saying someone knew what was going to happen and did nothing to stop it. That is far from the case. I sincerely doubt any of the young man’s classmates had any indication of what would happen that Friday morning.

In truth, not many of us get the opportunity to be Mordecai. Not many of us know of the plans of a would-be killer before those plans get carried out. We never get the chance to report things to the Queen Esther around us so the plans might be thwarted before they ever actually happen.

But, what if the killer was us? “Oh, Pastor, I have never killed anyone. No, I haven’t. I wouldn’t.” I know you haven’t. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t. This is a hypothetical question. I haven’t killed anyone either. Or, have I?

If I am being honest with you, and even more so with myself, I can and sometimes do kill the spirit of someone around me when I say or when I do something that attacks their heart or attacks their soul. I can kill someone’s soul when I spread rumors about someone or, just as bad when I allow them to move through my little corner of the world unchecked.

I know, without a doubt, I have done just that. I know I have done it more than once. There was someone there, at least one someone, who could have, who should have,  played the role of Mordechai, to me, being the guards in the story. Let me repent of my actions as one of the guards.

Yes, I do repent of my being one or both of the guards in the lesson. I have faith, help my unfaithfulness. Help me repent of being a guard but more importantly help me to remember that I am called to serve, not to gossip. I am called to build up, not to be one who kills the spirit.

If you are honest,  with others and yourself, you probably have been one who kills others in the ways I have mentioned and in ways, I don’t even know. We aren’t authorized to use the spirit as a weapon. We aren’t authorized to share the heartache of someone else. We aren’t called to share with others what God has done in their lives. We all have a call.

What’s your call,

Have a great day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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